First-term Rep. T.J. Cox (D-CA) “failed to disclose ties to five businesses, two of which he is still listed as a primary owner or director,” while running for Congress, according to an investigation by the Fresno Bee.
One of those businesses, the Bee reports, is a Canadian mining firm. Ironically, the Bee notes, Cox supported H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” which would ban representatives from serving on for-profit boards, if passed into law.
Cox has faced questions about his disclosures before. During the 2018 midterm election, when he challenged Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), the Bee revealed that he had a “principal residence” in Bethesda, Maryland. Cox claimed that it was the State of Maryland’s fault and pointed to his many other ties to California’s Central Valley.
But those ties, according to the Bee, include businesses that Cox did not disclose to the House of Representatives.
Moreover, the Bee notes, Cox may have collected a homeowner’s proper tax exemption on his local property in Fresno County, even though he may have rented out his home, making him ineligible to receive the exemption.
He has already paid back an exemption he received illegally for his Bethesda, Maryland, home, the Bee reports.
Cox narrowly defeated Valadao in highly controversial circumstances involving “ballot harvesting,” a practice through which third parties are allowed to hand-deliver mail-in ballots for other people. Democrats passed a law allowing the practice in 2016, over Republican objections, and they took full advantage of the practice in the 2018 midterm elections. (Ballot harvesting is illegal in other states, due to the potential for widespread voting fraud.)
Valadao beat Cox in the primary in June 2016 by a nearly 2-to-1 margin (candidates from all parties run in the state’s “jungle” primary, and Valadao and Cox were the only two candidates). But Cox won — several weeks after Election Day — by fewer than 1,000 votes out of nearly 114,000 cast. Experts believe ballot harvesting was key.
Cox’s failure to disclose his business ties full ycould result in fines from the House Committee on Ethics, or — if especially flagrant — could also result in federal criminal prosecution, though that is rare and considered unlikely.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.